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Maladie - The Sick is Dead - Long Live the Sick

The Sick is Dead - Long Live the Sick
by Shea Higgerson at 09 February 2022, 3:01 AM

German extreme black metal (at least that’s how they’re categorized on Bandcamp) band MALADIE puts forth a melting pot of musical experimentation with their latest album “The Sick is Dead - Long Live the Sick.” There are absolutely extreme and black metal qualities to this release, but this band is all over this place musically.

The first thing I noticed once “My Soul, Old” kicked off the album was the contrast between the two vocal styles. There’s the shouting, clear vocals layered with death metal screams. Later on clean singing is introduced. A little bit of everything. I like the juxtaposition of these styles, however, I’m not a fan of the screams, which I think need some improvement. They sometimes sound kind of like a dying animal or like if someone choking on their food decided to start a metal band. The singing is great and I would like it if the screams behind it could be improved.

The opening riff of “The Ultimate Rejection” is pretty catchy, but the beginning of the song kind of reminds me of something I’d hear in 80s radio rock until the vocalist comes in and things start getting really heavy all of a sudden. There are so many different musical styles going on in this album. It’s great to have experimentation and variety, but this gets a little overwhelming and jumbled.

The standout songs on the album for me are “Life’s Work” and “Death’s Work.” I thought the construction of this song and again with the juxtaposition of the screams and singing were really great in “Life’s Work,” along with the extreme metal features thrown in. The band really shows off their musicianship with this one. What mainly sold me on the song was about the halfway point when the instruments slow down and slow, demonic screaming begins, followed by singing with the lyrics “Who am I to judge? Who am I to be the one?” I loved the mixture of things happening here. In “Death’s Work,” I love the opening with the vocals sounding far away. And I thought the chorus was brilliant — “No more pain that drives you insane/No more fear and the path is clear/No more lies of the hierarchies/No more hate, no more ache.”

I kind of wish the album ended with “Death’s Work,” because it’s so epic, but there’s one more song “Final Stage” that has the band awaiting death again. The band seems to do a lot of examination of the ideas of life and death. It’s seen in the previous two songs. It happens, too, in the contrast between the songs “The Sick is Dead” and “Long Live the Sick.” The former with the words “I am dead” repeated and the latter with the words “I am alive” repeated. There’s definitely continuity in the album.

Songwriting: 6
Musicianship: 8
Memorability: 5
Production: 8

3 Star Rating

1. My Soul, Old
2. Nekrolife
3. The Sick is Dead
4. Long Live the Sick
5. Gottkomplex
6. Is This Your Inheritance?
7. The Ultimate Rejection
8. Life’s Work
9. Death’s Work
10. Final Stage
Hauke Peters - Saxophone
Mark Walther - Guitar
Bjorn Koppler - Guitar, Keyboards, Cello, Piano, Organ, Bass, Drums
Deha - Keyboards, Piano, Cello, Vocals
Alexander Wenz - Vocals
Kevin Olasz - Guitar
Record Label: Apostasy Records


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